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Walk in the Wild

WellWalks for schools

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"In every walk with nature, 

one receives more than he seeks"

John Muir

Field Trip in Nature

Outdoor Benefits

A growing body of research and major studies are providing impressive evidence that outdoor learning has many benefits for students and teachers alike in areas such as

  • mental health

  • emotional wellbeing

  • physical fitness

  • motivation

  • activity levels

  • focus

  • belonging

  • responsibility

  • connection

  • confidence

  • independence

  • resilience

  • local knowledge

  • skill development

  • communication skills

  • social skills

  • team-building

  • respect

Alternative Options

Recent years have demonstrated that alternatives to traditional classroom-based education are essential and that nature provides an effective and enjoyable arena for students to learn and grow.


    While great strides were made in providing online resources, we quickly realised that in-person, social contact is a vital part of our development as healthy, well-balanced individuals. 

Online Education

A Whole-School Approach

Image by Ryan Jacobson

Highest Potential’s ethos is perfectly in line with the NCCA’s national outcomes and wellbeing guidelines. Our programmes are geared towards supporting active and healthy physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. 

WellWalks, with a range of interesting subjects and variety of routes can be tailored to suit students from 1st year to 6th, including Transition Years, Leaving Cert Applied and those with special needs. 

By meeting each group at their own particular stage of development, we can lead them at a pace that works for them to new areas of understanding, knowledge and skill.

We understand the importance of the faculty’s wellbeing so students can reach their potential in a healthy environment. As their full-time guides, you must be well enough to lead them on a successful path. The growing workload teachers face must be balanced with stress-relieving, enjoyable activities. As such, we also provide WellWalks to support your staff’s individual and collective wellness needs.  

The home-school relationship influences the level of support teachers receive from parents, school attendance and the degree of participation from students. Our walks can facilitate “family days” where parents, teachers and students can meet in a neutral environment and make positive, lasting connections.



A Brief Intro to our WellWalks Programmes

Exercise and a mindful approach to enjoyment of time outdoors are integral to each WellWalk.

With so much to learn, explore and experience in nature, we have created a range of programmes for focused learning while we walk.

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Like physical fitness, mental fitness can be developed with the right combination of training and rest.


Access tried, tested and proven techniques for a mind that is more aware, focused, calm, resilient, open and balanced.

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story!


Every inch of Ireland has a gem of a story buried beneath it.


Learn about local and national history and legends as you walk in the footsteps of our ancestors and heroes.

A healthy level of fitness is quite simple to achieve for most.


Misconceptions around what it means to be fit and what it takes to get there are bigger hurdles than any exercise or diet.


Knowing the facts lets us reach the finish line with ease. 

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Be amazed and intrigued by the abundance of wildlife in the Irish countryside, from insect-eating plants to 500-year-old oak trees and badger funerals.

Discover some of the old, but not forgotten, uses for common roots & leaves as you learn that a weed is simply a flower in the wrong place.

Finding your way in this world can be challenging, even with Google maps.


Basic navigation, map-reading and essential outdoor skills can come in very handy on and off the hills.


Using them is confidence-building and fun!

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Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints!


Time in the outdoors without harming nature or ourselves means we can enjoy it again and again.


Learn to plan ahead, behave ethically and leave nature as you found it. 

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What's involved?

All of our walks are led by a qualified, insured guide on safe paths, walkways or trails in natural, scenic and historic locations. These may include public parks, blueways, greenways, farmland, coastal walks, forestry trails and open hillside.

    Distances and elevations range from easy to challenging and take 2-hours, 4-hours (half-days) or 6-7 hours (full-days). Routes are chosen according to the physical ability of the group members, time available, desired locations and suitability for the specific WellWalk programme.

    Every walk involves time spent responsibly in natural, scenic areas,with some exercise, exploration, activities and knowledge-sharing. Walks over 4-hours may incorporate more than one programme.

    Walks begin with gentle exercise to stretch, warm up and explain what to expect over the course of the event. Activities and information sharing will be interspersed with walking to keep it interesting and varied.


    These info / activity stops provide for regular rests, with opportunities then to enjoy the social side of walkin ‘n talkin, mixing with different group members as we move along.

Teenagers in Nature
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WellWalks Origins

Highest Potential’s WellWalks developed through a 25-year career in health and a lifelong passion for wellbeing, nature and stories in equal measure. 

    Having enjoyed the physical benefits of walking and hiking in the outdoors for many years, I also found these activities clear the mind, inspire calm, creativity, a sense of accomplishment and an attitude that most any hilltop can be climbed, one-step-at-a-time. 

    Spending time in the Peruvian Andes and the Nepalese Himalayas taught me that our own hills, valleys, history and legends are as interesting and awe-inspiring as those of exotic countries and cultures. 

The social side of walking with others has built lasting friendships both near and far. Journeying side-by-side, exploring, talking and reaching destinations together has connected people for millenia, and still does.
   It seemed only natural to share these in meaningful ways with others.

Neil Dennehy

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